tv Charlie Rose PBS November 26, 2013 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
>> rose: welcome to the program we begin this evening with the iranian nuclear agreement. first up tom donilon. >> and i think that the first step agreement that has been reached is quite significant. it is significant in that it halts the progress of the program. it rolls back certain aspects of the program, especially the 20% enrichard uranium. it provides a very intrusive monitoring and inspection regime and it addresses something the israeli government has been very concerned about, and i think correctly, the heavy water reactor at iraq. >> rose: we continue with republican congressman mike rogers. he is chairman of the house select committee on own tell against. >> for a month before this happened the administration was up lobbying all of us in congress saying hey, whatever you do, don't move forward on sanctions. i think we'll have a great
deal coming up here. candidly they laid sanctions on the table it allowed iran to craft an agreement where they walked away saying the world has recognized us as a nuclear power. that's a huge problem. that is exactly what we were trying to avoid. >> rose: we conclude this evening with an analysis of the agreement with gary seymour, david sanger, ray tacka and gary sick. >> the reason why the iranians are seeking a deal is because the economic pressure of sanctions. and the big question as david said does this taste of sanctions relief make further nuclear concessions more likely or do-- does this modest relief of sanctions make them more able to withstand the status quo and therefore less likely to make nuclear concession. in sex months we'll have a better idea which is correct. >> a analysis of the nuclear agreement with iran. >> funding for charlie rose was provided by the following:.
>> rose: we begin this evening with a landmark international agreement to halt iran's nuclear program. or at least to freeze it tehran has agreed to a temporary freeze in exchange from relief of economic sanctions. talks will continue the next six months in hopes of reaching a more comprehensive agreement. president obama hailed it as a diplomatic breakthrough. >> the first step that we've taken today marks the most significant and tangible progress that we've made with iran since i took office. and now we must use the months ahead to pursue a lasting and comprehensive settlement that would resolve an issue that has threatened our security and the security of our allies for decades. it won't be easy. and huge challenges remain ahead. >> iranian foreign minister echoed the president's tone. >> so this is a process of attempting to restore confidence and i hope that the two sides can move forward in a manner that
would be conducive to the subjective. >> rose: israeli officials including benjamin netanyahu have denounced the accord. >> what was reached last night in geneva is not an historic agreement. it is an historic mistake. today the world became a much more dangerous place because the post dangerous regime in the world made a significant step in obtaining the most dangerous weapons in the world. >> rose: joining me now from washington tom donilon, former national security advisor to president obama. i'm pleased to have him here to talk about something he has obviously a lot of involvement in before he left government. welcome. >> thank you, charlie. good to see you. >> rose: first question, how important do you think the fact is, as the president suggested, at long last we're having serious conversations with the iranians about things that divide us. >> well, i think it's very important. and it's important with respect to a very serious security issue that has been facing the united states and the region and the world and that is the iranian nuclear
program. and i think that the first step agreement that has been reached is quite significant. it is significant in that it halts the progress of the program. it rolls back certain aspects of the program, especially the 20% enriched uranium. it provides a very inclusive monitoring and inspection regime and it addresses something that the israeli government has been very concerned about, and i think correctly, the heavy water reactor at iraq. so it provides a solid basis here for negotiations over the next six months. and one thing that we worried about and one thing the israelies had worried about is that the iranians had used a negotiation period to stretch it out and during the same time extend and advance the program. and this understanding that had been reached with respect to the next six months didn't let that happen. and indeed as i said it halts and rolls become and provides adequate inspections in monitoring with respect to the program. so i think it's quite significant.
>> rose: why do you think the israelies are so opposed? >> well, the israelies have a deep security concerns with respect to the iranian nuclear program and that is understandable. i think i spent as much time as anybody in our government with the israelis working through their security concerns, particularly with respect to iran. and they are, i think, trying to press for a deal ultimately that would insurance or do the best we can to insurance that iran's prevented from having a nuclear weapon. so that there is a deep concern given the potential threat to israel, presented by iranment and understandably they are wanting to make sure that the most solid deal possible gets done here. i think though charlie, that both the initial steps that are taken here and what we might be able to achieve in a diplomatic outcome here is not only in the interest of the united states and the region, i think ultimately would be in israel's security interest as well. >> rose: why?
because at the end of the day the goal of this negotiation is to prevent iran from acquiring nuclear weapons that's the purpose of the exercise, and as i said we have a pretty solid basis for going forward for a six month negotiation in that it doesn't allow the iranians to move forward with respect to the program during the pend ansi of the negotiations. and i would also say that another couple things with respect to securities that's been achieved in these negotiations is that we have actually added more warning time. in other words, we've lengthened the distance between a decision the iranians might make in dashing for a nuclear weapon and they are achieving that goal. we also put in place, and it hasn't been noted i don't think enough, the verification and monitoring regimes which really will raise the bar on any ability of the iranians to break doubt. -- breakout. >> rose: so who got the better deal? >> well, you know, i think that from the perspective of those of us who are seeking
to reach a diplomatic solution here that prevents iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, i think it's-- i think it's a positive step and important step. but we don't know it here, as you and i sit here this evening, charlie, we don't know what the ultimate outcome of the negotiation will be. the hard part really is in front of us here. i think this is an important and meaningful step and provides, as i said, a good platform for going forward because it does freeze, rollback and monitor the situation during the period where we can test the iran yen resolve here. why are we in this situation? we're in this situation because lead by the united states, the international community put unprecedented pressure, economic and other pressure on the iranians through the sanctions. and the purpose of that ert, and hi a lot to do with that as you know, the purpose of that effort was to force a choice. and that's what we're going to see here. we'll see if the iranians can make a choice to integrate into the national community and forego
international relations or not. the other thing by the way that this doesn't address and we have to keep vigilant about this going on here, are iran's other activities in the region. >> supporting hz hez and the syrians through hezbollah? >> absolutely. and by the way, the pressure campaign we have put on the iranians obviously the most visible has been the sanctionsment but it also consisted of a lot of other elementsment it was really a multiyear, multidimensional effort to pressure the iranians to force this choice. it was sanctions. it was political pressure and isolation, by the way working and pulling together obviously our closest allies but also the russians and the chinese it was also by the way a very significant buildup in our military relationships with our gulf and other partners in the region. and a significant military buildup so we may clear the iranians and all options were and are on the table. >> rose: here's what the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee said quote i do not believe we should further reduce our sanctions nor abstain from preparations to impose new sanctions on iran should the
talks fail. i assume you very much disagree with senator menendez. >> the chairman said should the talks fail. and i think a couple of things on this. the first point is this, is that the sanctions, actually, the pressure on iran increases over the next six months. if you do the math, charlie, the relief that they get is about 4.2 billion in cash that's frozen. over the next six months, 35 to 40 billion dollars in additional revenues will be frozen under the existing sanctions. so the key existing sanctions, the banking sanctions, the oil sanctions which have been the sanctions that have put the most pressure on the iranians at this point, will stay in place and indeed the pressure will increase. i think all the pressure is on the iranians. secondly with respect to chairman menendez's point which i think is fair is i do think it is important for to us have a coordinated effort with the congress where the iranians see that if, in fact, they don't negotiate in good faith or we aren't able to get a comprehense of a agreement here, that there are another-- there is another
set of sanctions waiting to be imposed on them. so i think that the threat of these sanctions, additional sanctions, i think a coordinated effort with the administration about when to bring them into play and having that threat sit out there, i think really is an important part of the strategy. and it has been an important part of the strategy. very good congressional branch coordination on the sanctions regime over the last few years. >> rose: do you believe as crit esks of this deal would like to say that if, in fact, you take off the sanctions it's very hard five, secretaries months from now to put them back on? >> if we had-- i would agree that if we had taken out the core elements of the sanctions superstructure that has been put in place, it would be difficult to put them back on in six months but tas's not what happened. what happened here is that you had fairly modest access by the iran-- iranians to some cash that has been frozen. you have some things where we lifted the sanctions auto parts and petrochemicals and other things which add up to another couple billion dollars.
but what didn't happen, this is a very important point, and i would have agreed by the way with the critics if this had happened. what didn't happen is that the core sanctions, the oil revenue sanctions and the banking sanctions remain in place and they continue to pressure the iranians. what has been the result of this? the result of this has been that you've got about 40 or 50% inflation in iran. you have a high unemployment. you have their oil exports which they rely on for most of the government revenues cut in half. and that is all, you know, that all continues. going forward here. so i think that's an important fact point here to understand that in fact the sanctions pressure stays on the iranians. the pressure remains on the iranians, i will go on with this for two more seconds. the pressure from the sanctions remains on the iranians. and also i think the pressure from the iranian people remains on the iranian government. why did we get here in these negotiations. we got here because president rouhani was elected on the promise that he would seek to get some economic relief for the people of iran. the only way to do that was
have a negotiation with the international community. you saw he got a positive reception with the steps taken in geneva. but now the expectations are pretty high in tehran. the iranian government will be pressured to have to perform here with respect to compliance with this and in achieving an comprehensive agreement. >> rose: have there been a lot of back door negotiations going on between the iranians and the united states? >> yeah, well a couple things. first of all i will not go into detail with respect to the diplomatic activities that took place. >> rose: but dow con term that the loss of things look that have been going on. this -- just happen out of the t plus five plus 1. >> i say-- let me say two, three, four things about this, right. first is that it shouldn't surprise anyone that the united states would, because we said we were, would be open to having, while we had pressure on, we always also said we were open to diplomacy. and we had a number of conversations with the iran yens in a number of places including, by the way in new york, with their u.n.
ambassador and in other places. we had conversations, for example, with the offices of the omanies who helped us remember resolve this hiker incident with the iranians. but these conversations were mainly about whether or not a conversation could take place. they were conversations about whether or not bilateral discussion kos take place an as opposed to the content of those discussions. i think that the content discussions became more intense and more specific after rouhani's election this spring and over the summer. and as we told our partners and other allies, as we got-- if we had any discussions where there was con at any time being discussed, where things were getting more serious, that we would brief them on them. that is what we did. and we brought that to the p5 plus 1, the results of those discussions. i think it was important. i think it was important to see if channels could be open. there were important opportunities for discussionment but when they
became serious and into content with respect to potential deals, it then was infused, if you will, into the p5 plus 1 process to work with the rest of the international community. >> rose: what does this is a about secretary of state john kerry? >> well, i think it says-- i think it says a lot, frankly. he's been an extraordinarily active secretary of state. he has thrown himself into any number of critical negotiations and situations that the united states stayses. -- faces. he is relentless. and he ask able to handle a number of things at the same time. just look at his activity, and it really is quite extraordinary. if you look at secretary kerry's activities just last week, right, he was in the middle of this negotiation trying to get this initial step a doed with respect to the iranian nuclear program. he was involved, as you know quite directly, in working with the afghans on trying to reach an accord with the
afghans and karzai government on the bilateral security arrangement. he was in london working with the brits and others with respect to trying to take additional steps to provide security assets in libya. he is in the middle of, obviously, trying to push forward the israeli-palestinian. and that's a long list of things i think secretary kerry has been working on simultaneously. and i think he's shown also a willingness to really roll up his sleeves, get into the details and really be a first class diplomat for the united states. >> i think that having several things that are in motion at the same time gives you a chance to build on some breakthrough in one that might effect the other. >> i think that's right. for example let's talk about that for a second. because i think that's exactly right. so for example, secretary kerry was key to entering
into the understanding the agreement with the russians to move forward on cataloging first and then eliminating the chemical weapons capacity and materials in syria with the russians. we had up to that point as you know, and i was involved in this and didn't make a lot of progress frankly with the russians on syria and other things. we had really hit a kind of stalled point here with respect to u.s. russia relations. and i think that this project which is on track and i think we have a pretty good prospect of finishing successfully s an example of where you can have a success and maybe build on other successes. or build other successes working with the russians and others. soi think it is a good example. i take your point. but he has been extraordinary. and he's taken on this job with obviously great information. and he also, last thing i will say, secretary kerry is so hon it and relentless
that he really does build over time very good personal rerelationships. >> rose: everybody that i talk to whose's been engaged in serious negotiations whether in northern ireland, south africa, wherever it might have been including nuclear negotiations with russia, one of the key factors is confidence-building measures. >> yeah. >> rose: if you can create a way to have confidence building measures, then you are opening the possibilities of the kind of agreement you want at the end of the road. >> yeah, well i think that's right. and i think that's part of some of the discussions that took place leading up to the p5 plus 1 agreement were part of. it takes tremendous energy to do that. but i will also say tend of the day it's the outcome and content that matters. we're dealing here with as i said earlier in the discussion, charlie, we're dealing here with a group
that has been deceitful with respect to its program in the extreme. and has a whole range of other activities which are threatening the region and including some of our partners and allies in the region. so you've got to have your eyes open. but you do have to establish a basis for going forward in any negotiation with some confidence, that in fact, that in fact, what you agreed to is going to be implemented and you had the possibility of doing additional things. but the performance here is going to be really important. all the performance, by the way, here with respect to this agreement in the next six months is on the iranian side. on the u.s. and international community side it's a fairly straightforward set of steps that need to be taken with respect to some modest sanctions relief. all the other saks here-- action here that needs to be taken is on the iranian side. it is a very important test for the iranians to prove their bona fiddes here. >> rose: tom donilon, thank you very much. >> great, good to see you, and look forward to seeing
you again. >> rose: okay, thanks, tom. >> joining me now from the russell rotunda in washington is congressman mike rogers. he's the chairman of the select committee on intelligence, welcome. >> thanks for having me, i appreciate it. >> rose: tell me how you see this? >> well, i'm more concerned for a whole series of reasons. first of all, if you think about our strategic alliance in the middle east, the arab league who was kind of coming together in ways that we haven't seen in the near-- just in recently certainly the near past, on issues like syria and other huge challenges, al qaeda pooling in the eastern syria and western iraq all of those issues showed just tremendous promise and the thought that we had a counter weight to the rise of iranian influence. and when i say iranian influence, they're using violence in order to do it, political assassinations, hezbollah, terrorist organization of which they own 100% operating in places like syria. when this deal happened it
completely upended our strategic alliance in the middle east. so now saudi arabia is saying they can't count on the united states going somewhere else. certainly israel is apoplectic about this particular deal and we believe it's going to force individuals, places like equip,-- egypt, things you wouldn't think about, jordan will have to reconsider its strategic position in the world and the middle east when it relates to iran and other problems. and sawee arabia may, in fact v to go, and we know this from the pasting look at counter weighting what they believe is a certainty now that iran is going to get a nuclear weapon. that means a proliferation of an arm races in the middle east which is outrage usly dangerous for the united states. and the deal doesn't do anything to dismantle their program. that is what is so shocking to me. so they showed up and laid something on the table and nothing dismantles the program, nothing. i think it was prema sure. >> as you know they say a freeze is an important goal because it delays the chance
that they can, in fact, get closer to a dash. >> well, her's the problem. there's more than one component to a program. so you have the missile program. enrichment, and you have the weaponization, trying to get a material that you have at a weapons-grade percentage and can you put it into a something that explodes and can ride on the head of a missile an be delivered. that's really the whole scope of the program. billion, if you think about where they are, they hit that crucial number, 20% enrichment. that is the most difficult number to get to if you are going to be in the pursuit of nuclear weapons. they hit that number. so that means that scientific part of them getting to that 90% is well under way. so we know that they've installed probably almost 20-- i think it's in excess of 20,000 centrifuges, right, none of that comes down. as a matter of fact, they get to keep that and at the same time that our secretary, secretary kerry was saying hey, this doesn't mean that they can enrich the iranians
shall the foreign minister is saying this great, it means we can continue enrichment which was in voylation of all the u.n. doles. >> rose: the enrichment is limited to 5% which is not weapons grade by a wide margin. i mean it far from the 20% and that that enrichment that has taken place at 20% will be transformed by the oxide. >> well, again, that agreement, that's not in the agreement. this is a big sticking point. and remember what we did to get here. and again, if you have to think about where the iran-- iranians wanted to be. not what we think of the program. not what we think we-- i believe that sanctions were, withouting. as a matter of fact this third round of sanctions that the house of representatives has already passed and is sitting in the senate was really going to take that next bite out of the iranian elite. so we walked in, and the
hardest thing to do ised whether the pressure through sanctions it is an incredibly difficult thing to do. and the president didn't like the first round, didn't like the second round, clearly they doesn't like this third round. they walked in and immediately backed off on the sanctions after they have already hit the 20% enrichment. and every element 6 their program, ballistic missiles, military research, none of that gets touched, and all they said is well you have to go down to a 5% enrichment, remember, the first six united nations resolutions were no enrichment. you have to stop completely enrichment. and that's why the iranians came out, including cohainei today and said in say great deal for iran it means we've been recognized as a nuclear power. that is not a great outcome here that means that all of the su rep at thiscious parts of the program are going to continue. >> rose: of course you know secretary kerry says that is not true. that is simply their interpretation. >> well, yeah, if that is who you are making the deal with and they are telling you they think this allows them to move forward on enripment and we know they've already cheated and moved forward on enrichment,
what do you think the outcome is? again this isn't about what we want it to be this is about what it is. and so they've already cheated on the u.n. resolutions. they've already developed much further than most of us are willing to accept in their nuclear program. and so what they're saying is yeah, this gives us permission to do it. so it really doesn't matter candidly what our secretary says, it matters what the iranians say. and the iranians are saying this gives us permission to continue ton our nuclear path. and i can tell you as the chairman of the intelligence committee, nothing has changed in the developmental side of their nuclear weapon program. i mean nochlingt they haven't slowed down an ounce. and so that science, that research, that progress continues to be made. and again we've done something i think boxed us in a corner here. nothing on ballistic missiles, that is a key component of being able to deliver a nuclear weapon and nothing on that military research facility. that is really concerning to me. >> but you do have a lot of people who seem to a roach
it the following way. a lot of people who are experts on the iranian situation. albeit they're not in government. they're people who have been in government are out of government who basically said this is the best of the worst options wa, options did we have with respect to iran. this is the best of the worst options and they say you know that on balance, it's better this than nothing. and a freeze does achieve certain things and yet there is much to be negotiated. you won even give them that, that anything was achieved here at all. >> no. >> even inspections. >> no, listen, there was something good in the deal. don't get me wrong. i mean the fact that they said they were going to stop the furtherance of the iraq rak, not iraq -- >> exactly. >> the heavy water reactor, that was good. but here is the problem. we knew that iran, i mean this was really, if you think about who they are and what they're trying to accomplish, very clever. so i don't believe they
needed the heavy water reactor, candidly. they didn't need the plutonium fissile material, why because they invested in high-tech centrifuges that would allow them to go around the process of using fissile material from plu tornium and that's normally the fastest way to get a nuclear weapon. think about what they are, what their stated goals are, and what they got. some people would say well, this is a great step, it's a first step. here's the problem. so we had all of the pressure built up on sanctions. and if you believe that we don't want to have military conflict over this, this is why i so disagree with the approach they have taken, the administration has taken. it was working. it was starting to take a bite it was starting to take an impact. and think about where iran is, charlie. they're supporting all of the of thes in syria. they're supporting hezbollah. they're money is getting tightened off. this is causing them huge economic problems. and matter of fact, those sanctions were even starting to impact the attitudes of the chinese and the russians. we hadn't seen that before.
so wow, this is really good stuff. we're finally putting pressure to make the iranians want to come forward and say, all right, i either have to decide that we're going to economically ruin iran to get a nuclear weapon. or we're going to start making concessions on our nuclear weapon program. what happened here was the administration said boy, this would be great to have a deal. let's throw sanctions on the table. why do we know that? for a month before this happened, the administration was up lobbying all of us in congress saying hey, whatever you do, don't move forward on sanction. i think we'll have a great deal coming up here. candidly they laid sanctions on the table it allowed iran to craft an agreement where they walked away saying the world has recognized us as a nuclear power. that's a huge problem. that is exactly what we were t9xjn÷ to avoid. now you make israel make the strategic decision if they get a bomb, their previous president said they'd use it on us. the saudis who are under attack, by the way, according to public reports in cyberattacks from the
iranians. >> yes. >> every single day t makes them make these strategic decisions that may lead us to more violence, not less violence. that's why i'm so concerned. >> what would-- you don't get-- you really don't get to make this decision in a vacuum. this is not north korea. in a way it's not even pakistan. >> but you do see, mr. chairman, you see in many agreements opposing sides will spin it in different directions. >> well, completely i understand that. everybody wants to come out a winner. but there is a significant difference between somebody saying this means no enrichment, and somebody walking out saying this gives us the permission to continue enrichment. that's not a little bit of a difference. that's not daylight that you're trying to exploit that is 180 degrees different. and it is the sole purpose we were racheting up sanctions and had united nations security council resolution saying we don't want-- you have to immediately give up your ability to enrich. none of that happened. that's why i'm concerned
about it. i really do think that they were in such a hurry to get a deal, they were willing to take whatever the iranians were willing to throw at it i i think that's a serious mistake, given how hard it is to build pressure through sanctions. >> and now -- >> i think it's really hard to keep a sanction regime that works. that's what i worry about. >> rose: listen to what you just said. >> yeah. >> rose: i think they, i assume you went the obama administration was willing to take anything the iranians threw at them. that's clearly not true. they didn't take everything. the iranians did not get everything they wanted in this deal, did they? well, they got the most important thing. and the most important thing was their understanding that they're going to continue to be able to enrich. here's -- >> there are restrictions. ;how we got here. think about how we got her. remember the french came out and said wow, you guys are way too far out on this. you guys, we can't even accept this.
and so if it weren't for the french pulling the united states back and remember what position that put the united states. the united states was working a deal that iranneas willing to take, that the other european powers were throwing up their arms and saying it is pretty hard to negotiate with iran and the united states in the same position. the french came out and said no way. and remember what the french got was the heavy water reactor in iraq-iran. and so if you think about how this happened, our heads were not in the right place to get a deal that stops what i think is the most dangerous nation having a nuclear weapon. and again, i think that you may have added more pont for military strikes, not less. and that to me would have been,-- is really the biggest trav tse if we don't get this turned around in the next couple of months. >> rose: do i you think president obama listened carefully to prime minister netanyahu over many hours of conversation. >> no i do not. i travel there frequently. i'm fairly confident that their differences are fairly significant.
>> rose: and the president has not listened to him at all? hasn't given him the opportunity to explain his differences? >> well, i'm sure that he had had an opportunity to explain their differences. i don't think he took it into account. because again, you would have taken saudi arabian differences into account. would you have taken israeli differences into account. would you have taken the bipartisan effort in the congress differences into account. none of that was taken into account. and i think that's why you get a deal that looks like this, that you have so many people going hey, wait a minute, are you sure you want to do this. once iran gets a nuclear weapon, all bets are off for a nuclear proliferation across the middle east. >> i think the president and everybody else would agree with that. finally what is the congress likely to do now? >> well i think you'll have a serious debate on does the house pass another regiment of sanctions that we think we should send to the senate. the senate has the house passed version of sanctions that get after certain industry sectors in iran
that would continue to put pressure on them. again, i worry that if once we are start dismantling our ability to put pressure with sanctions you'll never get it back. and i think the iranians know that too. i would-- if i were the senate, and they're going to get lobbied by a lot of folks, i take the house passed bill that increases those sanctions, put it on the president's desk. it gives them options, doesn't mean he has to do it. but it gives him options. i think it would give him leverage going into negotiations in the next few months. i hope they come back and start looking at all of the elements of the program. we'll try to point those out to the administration. these are the things you missed. these are the things you left on the table that are really dangerous. so let's see if we can't get that into whatever your six month time frame is and no more secret negotiations with iran. i think that's a bad idea. the national security committee in congress should be included in those kinds of discussions when the outcome is this serious. >> congressman mike rogers, thank you so much. pleasure. >> thanks, charlie.
>> we continue our conversation about the iranian nuclear deal with gary seymour from cambridge, a professor at the john f. kennedy school of government at harvard and former advisor to president obama on weapons of mass destruction. from washington david sanger, chief washington correspondent for "the new york times". also from washington ray tacki, a senior fellow at the council on foreign relations n new york gary sick a professor at columbia university. i'm pleased to have all of them here. ray, let me begin with you then david in washington. what is your takeaway from this? >> well, i think it's a complicate add agreement with some indisputable advantages for the united states. it does inject a measure of restraint in irannian program. really the first negotiated restraint we have managed to impose on them, particularly on some sensitive technologies like 20% production. an even dealing with all over aspects of the program, production of advanced centrifuges and so on. so in that particular sense, it's an important agreement. however interim it may be.
the agreement on the other side of the ledger also concedes some principleses to the iranians, most directly the principles of enrichment which in this particular agreement may not have been acknowledged but it's recognized in practice. but also 2 suggests that the final deal that the united states and iran negotiation can still be an interim deal in a sense that has an expiration date on it. which presumably after that expiration date runs out iranians can expand their program beyond the restrictions that are negotiated in the next six months. so there's a lot on the positive side of the regger but there are some principleses that i think we should be cautious of moving forward. >> rose: gary? >> so any diplomatic agreement with iran would have to take place in a series of steps. because the basic issues are just fundamentally irresolvable. so people can pick over the details of this agreement. but i think ultimately it's good enough to get started. at the end of the day it's a truce. both sides have agreed not to expand their sanctions
against each other with some modest rollback, both in the nuclear program and the sanctions. now the focus has to be on trying to get the best advantage we can over the next zubltion month period. i personally am skeptical that an agreement can be reached in six months on a final decision basically because the iranians will insist on having a nuclear weapons cap ability in the form of a large enrichment program. we will insist on a very limited enrichment program so they can't produce nuclear weapons as president obama said. and i don't think that issue can be resolved in six months. nonetheless there could be another interim measure, another step forward, some additional constraints on their nuclear program. some additional relaxing of sanctions that keeps the issue under control and ultimately moves in the direction of resolving it. >> david sanger? >> you know, if you back up, charlie, and say what's new and fascinate being this, it's that for the first time in 30 years there has been a
direct negotiation between the united states and iran that's resulted in an agreement. even if it is temporary, even if it's limited and even if it is as gary just said something of a truce. the next face is going to be a very difficult one. and the reason is this is a very different deal than the one president obama would have negotiated if he had had his way and gotten the discussion going the first year he was in office in 20089. at that time iran's nuclear program was a lot smaller. they did not yet have enough loewen riched uranium to make even a single weapon. today they've got enough for five or six and today they have a fastly larger nuclear enterprise. and the really hard part of this next set of negotiations, i think the reason that everyone around the table is a bit cautious about it is it will require
the iranians to deconstruct things they have spent billions of dollars and huge pride in constructing. and that's going to be the hard thing for the iranian revolutionary guard, which runs the program to swallow and it will also require if they do a thorough job of it allowing international inspectors to get in and interview the scientists believed behind the military dimensions of the program. >> rose: why do you think this deal is good forth iranian sms. >> i'm not sure it is good for the iranians. i think they got the short end of the stick, actually. but it's certainly good for the americans. >> yeah. >> basically -- >> many people in washington don't believe that. >> i realize that. >> what is it that makes you believe that? >> well, that basically if you look at u.s. interests in the region, and you look at even just take obama's speech to the u.n., when he spelled out what he thinks is u.s. policy in the region, the thing that was really different about that from other presidents is if you focused on u.s. interests solely, that's what we are
about. what that is what we are trying to do. i think this does serve our interests. if you take iran, if you lower the temperature on iran, and you have a relationship that is at least bliss like t actually lowers the temperature t actually provides openings on almost every other problem that we have in the middle east. certainly on syria. but a lot of other things as well. and also, in the end, permits the kind of pivot that obama has been talking about. >> that actually reduces the threat in the persian gulf that lets us do things that we wanted to do anyway. one of the things that people i think really do forget, charlie, is that the-- we've got here two-- david mentioned that the cost of doing an agreement now is much higher than it was when obama first came to office. but we forget that it's even much higher than it was ten years ago when, in fact, the same pair, rouhani and sarif. >> were negotiators. >> were negotiators and they offered us a deal where iran had 164 centrifuges turning. and a lot of people, a lot
of people that are still in washington and being advisors said that was absolutely unacceptable. consequent live with that. so now we've got 19,000. and you know, the price gets higher and higher. eye ramp, you know, has kept up the pressure not, i think because it actually wants a bomb. if it really wanted a bomb, according to u.s. intel against t could have done that years ago. it is that they want people to know that-- they want to be taken seriously. >> rose: gary, do you see it that way in terms of the iranians? >> well, i think there is uncertainty about their attitude toward nuclear weapons. i personly believe the reason why they haven't produced nuclear weapons is because we've been able to a, expose their secret facilities. both shall, the two principal enrichment facilities. and secondly because the iranians are cautious. they understand that if they proceed toward the production of nuclear weapons in an open and
blatant fashion, they're very likely to trigger a war with the united states. so in my view, the long-term goal of the program is unclear. but at a minimum, the purpose is to create the option to produce nuclear weapons. and i agree with both gary and david that the iranians have gone a long way toward creating that capacity. i don't think at this point there close to being able to produce nuclear weapons because right now as far as we know they don't have any secret facilities. and doing it with an open facility is too dangerous. so i think there's still room for a diplomatic agreement that fundamentally limits and contains and slows the program. even though we obviously are not going to be able through diplomacy to completely erase their capabilities. >> rose: do we need a rouhani for this deal to happen? ness think what we needed was sanctions. i mean the reason why rouhani was elected, the reason why the iranians are seek a deal is because the economic pressure of
sanctions. and the big question as david said, does this assist of sanction relief make further nuclear concession more likely or does this modest relief of sanctions make them more able to withstand the status quo and therefore less likely to make nuclear concessions. in six months we'll have a better idea which area is correct. >> i just-- i just have to reiterate, if the sanctions, i mean i'm not against patting ourselves on the back. i think okay, let's say we were just really brilliant in all of this. we ended up with a hem of a lot more centrifuges than we thought we wanted and ten years late getting something done. but rouhanies have already made essentially the same offer ten years ago that they're making now. and the sanction situation has changed dramatically. their situation has changed dramatically. and i think, you know, we can pat ourselves on the back a little too much. i would say if anything, we've been awfully slow on the uptake. these same guys were there offering us this thing. when the bush administering
-- administration-- . >> rose: why do you think that is? >> because they want a deal. they actually want to get back into the international community. >> rose: why do you think u.s. was slow on the uptake in terms of if they could have had this deal 12 years ago. >> ask george bush. why did we have the axis of evil speech when iran was actually cooperating. >> rose: and it was all over after that. >> it was all over after that. >> i was just going to add one point, everybody has been saying all weekend and i think accurately, that without the sanctions and particularly without the sanctions on oil revenue they wouldn't be at the table today. and i think that's absolutely right. but at the same time there are other things the united states has done that has also put pressure on them. we've had a fair bit of military buildup in the gulf that has made it clear that if the president ever decided to take military action, he had the ca passionit ot go down it. now what he did in syria may have undercut that the effort. we had as you and i have discussed on this show before a very extensive
cyberoperation against their facilities that didn't knock it out by any means. but showed them that they were vulnerable. i think all of these plement elements of pressure contributed to it. i think the question now is does the sanctions relief take off enough pressure that they're going to feel like they could sort of live with the status quo. and i think that's the biggest ris tk that the administration faces today. and that's what the israelis were worried about. >> rose: the three things in play here t this thing, the deal just completed for six months, two palestinian and israeli negotiations and three, syria. i mean these thing, do they balance against each other. >> i think they do bounce against each other but not all in the same way. i think syria to some degree, because the president decided not to take any kind of a military action may have left the iranians and certainly some of the allies, israeli and saudi arabia wondering whether or not there really was a credible threat out there. i think that the mideast negotiations might play in
the president's favor. >> i think as we look at these arms control negotiations that are taking place with iran we should not lose sight of the fact that iran is still an adversarial country. it is a revisionist country and its interests are in many ways at odds with our core interests in the middle east, whether opposition to the peace process, whether support for terrorist organizations, leading sponsor as denoted by state department. it is attempt to buttress at sad regime, its attempt to destabilize the gulf state with. very set of disagreement and what we have to do is figure out how to advance the arms agreements while at the same time holding iranians in check in their attempt to reshape the region in a manner which is disadvantage to the united states and its allies. >> here is what i wonder about. my point is that they're talking, you know. and however, however you assess this deal, there was serious conversations in which two governments with others came to an agreement. >> yup. >> and that says something. and gives you a table that you're sitting at. >> yeah. >> to influence other
things. >> i think maybe it says more than that. people say six months is not going to be enough. who three months ago would have said we could conceivably be where we are now. it has been absolutely breathtaking. a and when both sides are actually interested in doing something, it is just amazing how fast things can go. >> rose: i have to let gary go because we're pleased, he has something important to do as we tape this but one last question, so what is the next step for the united states, gary? >> well, the first thing the u.s. has to do is patch up relations with israel and saudi arabia. they have both been profoundly unhappy with american policy toward syria, toward egypt, toward these nuclear negotiations. now that the deal is done, and i don't think it will be overturned by congressional action, we need to start talking to our allies in the region about how we maximize our leverage to get the best possible deal we can over the course of the next six months. fundamentally, that means a,
maintaining sanctions because if the sanctions begin to evaporate we lose our average and we're not going to get a good deal. and second we should come to an agreement about what what we think the end stated looks like. what kind of enrichment capability are we prepared to live with. what will we do with the heavy water research reactor. what type of monitoring do we need to guard against cheating. all of these are really important issues. i know they've been discussed extensively within the p5 plus 1 but i think it's time now to patch up relations with our allies as well and i'm sure the administration will be looking to try to do that so we can have effective, the most effective diplomatic stance we can. >> picking up on the point of prime minister netanyahu, someone wrote this morning and maybe one of you, that the idea of an israeli attack is now off its table for the next six months. >> yeah, i think that's right. it's hard for me to see how the prime minister can justify a military attack,
at the time not just diplomacy is proceeding but there are some interim agreements he has some problems with those interim agreements as some of his concerns are legitimate and needs to be taken into consideration. but i don't see how we can turn over a table with military attack. i'm not sure if he wants to do that at this stage with the damage it would do to u.s. israeli relations, israel's place in the international community. and he'll be subject to a lot of domestic censure because of those two previous-- because of his disruption of relations with the u.s. and the international community as well. >> rose: david? i was just going say on that same point, that despite what the prime minister said, assuming that the iranians do what they have committed to do in this agreement, and so far they usually, once they make these agreements i think that they at least in the publicly declared facilities, i think, they would have to comply. it would be obvious if they didn't. israel will be in a better place. the problem would be a lot
worse six months from now without this freeze agreement than it will be with it. now the prime minister and to some degree is, arguing with the ump on this play so that he gets a better ruling on the next one. because the money really cares about is how much of the infrastructure is dismantled. and that's really, you know, where his focus is. and i think the strategic question, or maybe just a tactical question for him is did he make a nis take by so opposing this sfwerm agreement that he has lost influence for later on or has he gained influence for later on. >> rose: good point. >> right now if you remember netanyahu standing up before the u.n. with that cartoon drawing of a bomb and the red line at the top of the thing, that was the big threat. that by 2014 iran was going to be able to have enough --% enriched uranium it could set up a bomb in a relatively short period of time. here we have an agreement that says they get rid of all of their 20% enriched
uranium. in other words, that red line, the iranian thing, it's going down an down and down. won't that have been nice if netanyahu could have said this really works in our benefit too. this is not such a bad deal. what if he had actually cooperated with us. of course right now the fact that he's yelling so loud is creating tremendous credibility in iran that this was a really good deal for them. >> rose: tell me about the interim conflicts in iran that will be for and against this. >> oh, it's already becoming very obvious. you have the usual spokesman. i guess the key thing for me, putting all the politic as side which there's a lot of it going on in iran, the revolutionary guard has been very quiet. and they're the big guys. s this's the big gun in iran. and i think that is not a coincidence. i think that they were shut up by the supreme leader. they were told to keep their moth shut. whether they will keep their mouth shut even for six weeks let alone six months i don't really know. >> you can say about the
supreme lead their he basically said to the president and said to the foreign minister, okay, i'm going to give you some running room. go see what you can get because i'm con fins-- convinced by you and others that the sanctions are having a real impact on the iranian people, not necessarily on us and our power. >> no, i think he did-- actually, if you go back and look, he's done this about virtually every president that came in. he did it even with chat hami, with ahmadinejad he gave him years of running room to make a fool of himself. now he's actually giving room. but the thing is he never commits himself so fully that he can't turn around and back off and say it was their fault, not mine. >> rose: did the idea that the enrichment much uranium at 20%, which means that you can get to 80% pretty fast, my understanding, correct me if i'm wrong. >> that's right, uh-huh. >> is that going to be eliminated by this oxide
treatment, whatever that is? >> it's not he limb nationaled, it's delayed. what they do, 20% enriferped uranium right now is in a gas form. when they move into an oxide it takes a few weeks, it converts to another form. if you ever want to use it for further enrichment for a weapon would you have to convert it back. so the best intelligence estimates that i could get over the weekend were that its rollback-- rollback in this agreement would put a month to a few more months on the clock. not very much when you think about what the united states and israel and the saudis and the rest of the arab world need. the ultimate objective of this negotiation is put the iranians in a position that if they ever decided to race for a borjs you would have a year and a half to two years of notice and plenty of time to react to it. and time to threaten military action or put in place new sanctions or whatever you needed to do.
and they don't have that yet. they're only going to get that if they can negotiate a build down of the existing facilities. that's what this next round is really all about. it's about extending dash time. >> okay. extending dash time. the next round is about extend -- extending darn time. >> that is what the whole negotiation is about. that is where it comes out in the final analysis. >> rose: so my last question, ray, what account iranians do, let's assume they're held bent on having a newer new clear capability. what can they do in this next six months. >> well, as i was saying, i think gary seymour eluded to it iranian facilities are safeguarded, under monitor. and if they want to divert material for that for the purposes of bomb manufacturing that is likely to be noticed technically with a more intrusive iaea inspections. the best thing iranians can do for that i long-term objective of getting a bomb would be to negotiate an agreement whereby they keep
as much of the facilities as possible and the right to expand those facilities. and therefore they can actually begin to manufacture a weapon at another more convenient time when they have greater degree of nuclear resources and installations and less economic pressure. and the possibility of that economic pressure being reconstituted is unlikely. and that any kind of a an agreement will likely to delay that. >> i don't understand why it's unlikely why is it unlikely they can reinstitute the pres-- reconstitute the pressure? >> well, i think once the sanctions reg evening form everly erodes, the no the interim measures in place, you have to get the international community to come together. you once again have to negotiate a legal architecture. you wednesday again have to get all these countries to agree to retreat from some of their commercial transactions. it's possible but it will take a long time. >> rose: wouldn't they be more motivated if they have given it's rannians a time and violated and did not take advantage of an opportunity to show goodwill?
>> well, i think is the point. getting the international community and national consensus like herding cats. in the security council resolution to pass with the russians on jxs, the chinese objections, getting the french there are so many people's red lines have to come together that it will be very difficult to reconstitute it one thing about these particular sanctions regime, particularly legal architecture the u.n. sanctions and all that. this has taken ten years to put together it began under the bush administration when they began the process of negotiations with the europeans and also essentially passing sanctions resolution it has continued under the obama administration as well so it takes a long time to get the international community to such a point of consensus. once that erodes it can be reconstituted but it will be difficult. >> okay, thank you very much. ray, thank you, david, thank you, gary